This is the highest award Cirencester Town Council can confer, and is for the lifetime of the recipient. The award is for exceptional services to the community and is restricted to seven recipients at any one time. At the present time there have been two Honorary Freemen/Freewomen:
The first to receive the award, in 2012, was Norman Whereat MBE in whose memory the Whereat Trail was named. Norman was a Town Councillor for 12 years, and Mayor of Cirencester from 1999-2001 and 2005-2007. Norman was awarded an MBE for services to the community in 2010 in recognition of his campaigning for Cirencester Hospital. Over 20 years as League of Friends chairman he helped to raise more than £400,000.
The second recipient was Mrs Aileen Calvert who was Mayor of Cirencester from 1992-1994 and served on the Council for 29 years and received the honour in 2013. Mrs Calvert had been involved with a number of local charities and trusts including Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool, the Twinning Association, and Cirencester Housing for Young People.
The title carries no privileges, but each recipient will be presented with a badge and scroll at a civic reception, and can use the title Freeman/Freewoman.
Nominations for the award are normally invited annually, whenever one or more vacancies exist, but the process of nomination does not mean an award will be automatically made. Nominations may be made by any resident on the electoral roll and a form can be obtained from the Town Council Offices at Bingham House, 1 Dyer Street, Cirencester or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The nomination must demonstrate that the nominee has undertaken exceptional and wide ranging service in a voluntary capacity in Cirencester. One letter of support must also be submitted from a person who has first hand knowledge of, and can endorse, the nominee’s contribution.
The form and supporting evidence should be returned marked “Confidential” to the Mayor at the Council Offices. Submissions should not be discussed with anyone other than the person who provides the letter in support of the application. Any disclosure prior to the decision being made by the Council will render the application invalid. The Council’s Corporate Group, meeting in private, will give consideration to any nominations received by the Mayor. Full details of the nomination, including the recommendation from Corporate Group, will then be circulated to all members of the Council for consideration. The decision to confer the award must be approved by no less than two-thirds of members of the Council.